WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court this afternoon directed parties in an age bias case concerning the Age Discrimination in Employment Act’s (ADEA) federal sector provision to file supplemental letter briefs concerning the available administrative or judicial relief available beyond the ADEA (Noris Babb v. Robert Wilkie, No. 18-882, U.S. Sup.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The city and county of San Francisco, a retirement board and an employees’ retirement system tell the California Supreme Court in a Jan. 9 reply brief that it should review an appeals court’s ruling that reinstated a former public worker’s lawsuit claiming that a formula that calculates retirement benefits discriminates against individuals who are hired after age 40, asserting that they should be immune from liability (Joyce Carroll v. City and County of San Francisco, et al., No. S259558, Calif. Sup.).
DETROIT — A Michigan Court of Appeals panel in a Jan. 14 unpublished opinion affirmed the grant of summary judgment to the operators of an unlicensed senior living facility in a negligence case, finding that they did not owe a duty of care to a resident to monitor the side exits of the facility, through which the woman exited in her nightgown, locking herself out in frigid temperatures (Estate of Virginia Kermath v. Independence Oxford, LLC, et al., No. 345640, Mich. App., 2020 Mich. App. LEXIS 245).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 13 denied a pro se petition for a writ of certiorari filed by an Ohio man challenging an Ohio appellate court’s ruling that he may not bring wrongful death and survival claims on behalf of his deceased mother’s estate without counsel (Jeffrey Wills Lusk v. Crown Pointe Care Center, et al., No. 19-543, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The federal sector provision of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) bars “discrimination not only in the ultimate outcome of a personnel decision but also in the process of making that decision,” an attorney representing a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) pharmacist argued on Jan. 15 before the U.S. Supreme Court (Noris Babb v. Robert Wilkie, No. 18-882, U.S. Sup.).
ST. PAUL, Minn. — An elderly nursing home resident’s self-proved will is valid, a Minnesota appellate panel held in a Jan. 13 unpublished opinion, rejecting his nephew’s claims that the will was invalid because the nursing home allowed non-immediate family members to visit the resident and that the resident lacked testamentary capacity (In re the estate of: Norman Sebert Larson, No. A19-0261, Minn. App., 2020 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 16).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 10 agreed to review whether the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board’s decision to deny reopening a man’s request for benefits under the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act (RUIA) and Railroad Retirement Act (RRA) is subject to judicial review (Manfredo M. Salinas v. U.S. Railroad Retirement Board, No. 19-199, U.S. Sup.).
CHICAGO — An Illinois appellate panel on Dec. 16 affirmed a lower court that denied a motion to compel arbitration of Survival Act claims against a nursing home after it allowed the plaintiff to submit a new affidavit from an expert witness indicating that an elderly resident was not competent to sign an arbitration agreement (Michael A. Rigoli v. Manor Care of Oak Lawn [West] IL, LLC, No.19-1635, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 2019 Ill. App. LEXIS 969).
ELGIN, Ill. — An Illinois appellate panel on Dec. 23 held that a couple’s legal agreement of separation prevented a surviving spouse from claiming a spousal award or rights as heir after one party died, reversing a lower court’s finding that the agreement entitled the surviving spouse to inherit the decedent’s property acquired post-separation (In re estate of Catherine A. Holms [James Holms v Tracy Batdorf], No. 2-19-0139, Ill. App., 2nd Dist.).
ELGIN, Ill. — A county-owned nursing home sued over the injury of an elderly patient can claim immunity only from certain failure to supervise claims, not from all negligence claims under the state Nursing Home Care Act, an Illinois appellate panel held Dec. 20 in a partial reversal of the trial court’s ruling (Arthur Sablik v. The County of De Kalb, No. 19-0293, Ill. App., 2nd Dist., 2019 Ill. App. LEXIS 987).
NEW ORLEANS — A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 13 affirmed summary judgment for an employer in an age discrimination lawsuit, ruling in an unpublished per curiam decision that the employee, who claimed that he was forced to retire due to his age, failed to show that his retirement was a pretext for discrimination (Paul Tagliabue, Jr. v. Orkin, L.L.C., No. 18-40691, 5th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 36971).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Three siblings seeking review of the denial of their request to remove their 99-year-old sister’s court-appointed guardian tell the U.S. Supreme Court in a Dec. 12 petition for writ of certiorari that a New York state judge violated their sister’s due process rights under the Fifth and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution when reaching the decision without hearing from witnesses or allowing her to be represented by counsel (In the Matter of the Guardianship of Ida M., No. 19-773, U.S. Sup., 2019 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 7561).
CHICAGO — A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 3 denied a petition for rehearing or rehearing en banc filed by employers ordered to continue providing health insurance benefits for retirees and their families (Harold Stone, et al. v. Signode Industrial Group LLC, et al., No. 19-1601, 7th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 132).
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Dec. 17 vacated an appellate court opinion affirming the vacating of a $3 million default judgment in a wrongful death lawsuit against a nursing home, reversed the trial court as to liability and ordered a new trial on damages, finding that the nursing home counsel’s failure to learn of and respond to the original petition did not constitute an “unavoidable casualty or misfortune” that would have justified vacating the judgment (Ryan Williams v. Meeker North Dawson Nursing, LLC, No. 115,360, Okla. Sup., 2019 Okla. LEXIS 83).
CHICAGO — Employers ordered by the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to continue providing health insurance benefits for retirees and their families filed a petition for rehearing or rehearing en banc on Dec. 18, arguing that the panel erred in reading the contract and that the ruling “runs afoul of decades of this Circuit’s precedent” (Harold Stone, et al. v. Signode Industrial Group LLC, et al., No. 19-1601, 7th Cir.).
NEW ORLEANS — A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 16 affirmed a doctor’s conviction for one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and five counts of health care fraud for submitting false bills for treatment of five elderly patients with dementia, as well as a federal judge’s decision to sentence him to 150 months in prison, holding that the evidence presented during trial was sufficient (United States v. Riyaz Mazkouri, No. 18-20650, 5th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 37167).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 18 granted petitions in two cases seeking clarification of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution’s “ministerial exception” as applied to age and disability bias lawsuits, consolidated them and granted a total of one hour for oral argument (St. James School v. Darryl Biel, No. 19-348; Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Agnes Morrissey-Berru, No. 19-267, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK — A New York jury on Dec. 12 awarded $2.98 million in compensatory damages to a widow for injuries her husband suffered as a result of a nursing home’s failure to monitor his condition and timely transfer him to a hospital (Frederick Smith, by and through Carolyn Lundy Smith v. Northern Manhattan Nursing Home Inc., No. 805104/2014, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
NEW YORK — The U.S. Justice Department on Dec. 17 intervened in a whistleblower lawsuit alleging that long-term care pharmacy Omnicare Inc. fraudulently refilled prescriptions without physician authorization, sometimes for years (United States, et al, ex rel. Uri Bassan v. Omnicare, Inc., No. 15-4179, S.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK — Finding that a hospital was liable as a matter of law for falsely imprisoning an elderly patient, a New York justice on Dec. 10 set aside a jury’s verdict in favor of a hospital, entered judgment in favor of the woman’s estate and ordered a trial to be held on damages (Dorothy Eng v. NYU Hospitals Center, No. 156810/2014, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2019 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 6543).